As we approach the holidays, we thought it was important to recognize the importance of taking breaks. This year especially, we’ve been working really hard, whether in school or at our jobs, to keep pushing forward during times of uncertainty. We need time to rest, relax and refocus, and holiday breaks can give us the time we need to do that.
Taking a true break can be easier said than done, so here are a few tips to truly enjoy your time off.
Turn off your social media notifications.
If you haven’t done this already, it’s a game changer. Instead of being distracted every time someone likes your post or sends you a DM, you control when you get on social media. Go to your phone settings and turn off all notifications. Trust us, you aren’t missing anything, and you’ll be amazed with how much more present you’ll feel.
Set up an out of office email.
Some people will disagree with the idea of setting up an out of office, but we recommend it. Letting people know when they email you that you won’t be checking emails until a certain date sets expectations for your time off. You won’t feel bad for not responding to someone, because they got a note from you saying when you’d be back in office and in touch.
If you have team members who can cover for you, you can add their email address as a contact, or just let people know you’ll be back in touch upon your return.
Set boundaries for yourself and others.
Setting boundaries allows you to worry less and enjoy more. If you let people know you won’t be around and when they should contact you, they are more likely to prepare for your absence ahead of time. Let your colleagues and clients know when you’ll be back and set boundaries ahead of time so everyone is on the same page. This way, there’s less likely to be an emergency that comes to you, because everyone has prepared for your time off.
At the same time, make sure you are prepared to be out. Get caught up on deliverables and make sure you know what needs to be done before you sign off. You’ll feel a lot better knowing there aren’t tons of to-dos hanging over your head. Set boundaries for your time off too - maybe you won’t bring your work computer with you, or you’ll delete your email app from your phone. Do what feels good and comfortable to you.
Spend Time Outside
You’re much less likely to sit on your phone or computer when you’re out going for a walk, hiking or spending time outdoors with family and friends. Create time where you know you won’t be tempted to check in on emails and notifications.
Give Yourself Some Slack
It’s probably pretty unrealistic to assume you won’t be on your phone at all during your time off, so give yourself some boundaries. Maybe you love surfing Twitter and Instagram in the mornings while you have your coffee - that’s great! Set a 20 minute time limit for yourself to scroll and then move on.
Taking breaks shouldn’t be causing you MORE stress! Set boundaries that feel good and comfortable for you - don’t force it. Breaks are important to embrace so you come back to work ready to tackle your to-do list. Hopefully these tips will help you disconnect and enjoy time off from the daily grind. Enjoy the time with friends and family next week or just some time off from the regular routine.